Conclusion And Contraindications

It is highly suggested that in private practice a clear contract concerning payment for services rendered is established including details about how to pay. In order to do this, the therapist must consider all the different situations and how, if problems emerge, could they be resolved considering the two perceptions of money. If there is a breach of contract, the therapist must:

• Confront in the group all the deviations from the contract and encourage the group as a whole to investigate its meaning.

• Make the money physically present in the group, which gives it a sense of reality. A difficulty could arise in this particular process if the payment is sent indirectly through a public health service, insurance, or another agency. The money then becomes a ghost. In order to be able to work therapeutically with the ghost in a group therapy situation it is suggested that:

—This invisible payer is made visible by reference to its existence in order to avoid future problems. Refer to it and make it become a conscious entity and a topic for discussion.

Another situation is when the therapist does not receive payment for his or her services and the therapist is working pro bono. In this case, it is suggested that the therapist seek some kind of payment by the group in order for the group members not to feel indebted, which could ultimately alter the way they relate to the therapist and the other group members. This payment would have to be discussed with the group as a whole and a decision would need to be reach which then would become part of the group contract.


Fehr, S.S. (2003). Introduction to Group Therapy: A Practical Guide (Second edition). Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press. Gans, J. (1992). Money and psychodynamic group psychotherapy. International

Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 42(1): 133-152. Motherwell, L. (2002). Women, money and psychodynamic group psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy. 52: 49-66.

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